Saturday, January 21, 2017

Discovering Iceland through Folklores and Sagas

As I stepped off the plane onto the tarmac at Keflavik Airport I was met with cold wind and rain, and right there was my first introduction to Iceland's formidable climate. Over the course of next few days I happened to see the most beautiful and awe-inspiring dawns, and also stood cold and shivering on stormy nights, all in the name of an Icelandic experience.

Barren and remote, this island on the edge of the Arctic circle was discovered by Norwegian exiles as they set sail in their viking ships possibly fleeing conflict in their own lands. It is said that the first permanent settlers in Iceland were a Norwegian chieftain named Ingólfr Arnarson and his wife. They made home in a place he named Reykjarvík "Smoky Bay", probably due to the steam rising from the several hot springs around. Today we know it as Reykjavik - the capital and the largest city of Iceland.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Postcards from Vienna

As I sit at my grandmother's place in Lucknow, triumphing over the fluctuating net connectivity, I yearn for a strong cup of coffee and can't help but fondly reminiscence the cobbled lanes of Vienna and the elegant Kaffeehäuser (coffee houses).

Our visit to the Austrian capital is still fresh in my mind and I find myself walking once again amongst its history, Baroque architecture and the musical geniuses of Mozart and Strauss. The imposing monuments in the city's historic center grab your attention immediately, yet there is also a very relaxed vibe in the neighbourhoods fringing the city centre as youngsters laze on design lounge chairs in the Museum Quarters or stretch their legs beside the Danube canal and enjoy a pint as music fills the air.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Blog Together, Blog Better with Team #BlogBusters #Blogbuddy @blogchatter

I started blogging in 2013. After I documented my trip to Kashmir on India Mike I caught the bug of travel writing and started this blog. Till then I had no idea what I was getting myself into. When I started getting comments on my post, I was elated. Each new comment, new reader was met with a gleeful jump and that joy was incomparable.

Slowly that joy withered. I realized there was a game being out on, it was all about scratching other people's backs, visiting their blogs and commenting in order to get a comment on yours. I didn't want to be a part of this, I thought. I would have perhaps given up had I not found Write Tribe, the first blogging community I was a part of, which taught me not only the nitty-gritties of blogging, but also helped me understand what it meant to have your own blogging community. Write Tribe was were I met like minded bloggers like Richa, Corinne, Shilpa, Raj, Sid and many others who are and will forever be my tribe. Write Tribe helped me grow as a writer, equipped me with new tools, helped me reach out to different blogs and amazing bloggers, and above all taught me the importance of sharing and promoting good content.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

A walk around Hampstead Heath #LondonDiaries

Overlooking the Hampstead Heath                

Curled up in the freshly trimmed greens 

My hand scribbles in rhythm to the wind 

Captures the nature naked.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Cheese Fondue, Zurich at night and Rhine Falls #SwitzerlandTravels Part 5

Read the #SwitzerlandTravels Part1, Part2, Part3 and Part4

As we boarded the train from Zermatt to Zurich, I couldn't help but feel a little heartache. Our serenade with the beautiful Swiss landscapes was about to end. This was no doubt one of the best travel experiences we had had, and we still had one more day to live it out.

We reached Zurich just in time to rush to restaurant Le Dezaley which is famous for its cheese fondue. It was just minutes before the closing time but the staff politely ushered us in and we quickly got to ordering. The cheese fondue was truly worth the hype and we also helped ourselves to one more dish and a glass of wine recommended by the staff.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Glacier Express and views of the Matterhorn #SwitzerlandTravels Part 4

Read the #SwitzerlandTravels Part1, Part2 and Part3

I have in my previous posts spoken of the efficiency and beauty of the Swiss scenic trains. The decision to thus spend a day on the classic Glacier Express, famous for being “the slowest express train in the world” (the 275 km journey takes about 8 hours) was an easy one. That unhurried summer morning we bid goodbye to the beautiful town of Lucerne, and headed to Chur to catch the Glacier Express.

The Glacier Express connects the two major mountain resorts of St. Moritz and Zermatt, passing through three high-mountain passes, 91 tunnels and over 291 bridges. As we boarded the bright red carriages, I felt like I am in the middle of a movie shoot. The huge panoramic windows instantly call out to you and tell you to sit back, relax and enjoy the views of green valleys, gorges, pristine blue river and snow peaked mountains, all from the comfort of the train.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Traveling Without a Plan and other Comedy of Errors

I am not a plotter, not in my writing and not in life. I take each day as it comes, at the most making a to do list when the list of tasks become too lengthy to compartmentalize in my head. My travel plans too, are as detailed as booking a flight and a place to stay. 

In all our travels, we do get around to seeing the major attractions and walking the tourist route. But we often sidetrack and loiter around discovering, uncovering a new city in our own time. 

Of course, not planning has its pitfalls but they come with learning, with a knowing smile directed towards the husband telling him we better not repeat this mistake the next time, and it makes for a great story! 

Friday, September 2, 2016

Enamoured with Mt. Titlis & the views of Lake Trubsee #SwitzerlandTravels Part 3

Read the #SwitzerlandTravels Part1 and Part2

We were ecstatic to wake up to a sunny day in Lucerne and a quick breakfast later headed to Engelberg, home to the famous Mt. Titlis.

On top of snow covered mountains, everything makes sense. 

As we oohed and aahed our way up to the peaks in Rotair 360 - the world's first revolving gondola, we were upbeat and ready to jump into all the snow-clad craziness Titlis had to offer. We walked on the suspension bridge past the howling winds, sledded down the slopes in animated squeals and giggles, rode the ice flyer looking down at the nature's magnanimous splendour and almost froze inside the blue lit glacier cave.

Friday, August 5, 2016

Tiny Dreams

Blisters on their feet
Sweet smiles piercing through 
They tap on the window sill
Tiny shoes in their hands,
They beg. 
For their tiny dreams to be lived. 

©Aditi Kaushiva

Day 5 of the #BarAThon Challenge. Today's prompt is 'tiny shoes'

Thursday, August 4, 2016

The Love Letter

She begged him to write her a handwritten letter.  In the age where you could speak everyday, where you could run to an Internet Cafe to chat with your beloved who was miles away, she insisted on the most romantic format of communication.